Most tennis players spend their offseason going back and forth between the beach, gym and court. Not Garbine Muguruza.
She spent her 2019 offseason getting to the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, going on to reach the final of the Australian Open. This season, she spent it training in Mallorca with the Spanish Civil Guard.
Speaking to the French Open website, Muguruza said her climb had left her sharp and refreshed.
"It's a tough experience and you learn a little bit about you," she said. "It's really challenging you physically and mentally to be there, and I was just looking for something fun, different experience."
The world No. 15 says her recent military exercises were inspiring.
"I’ve always wanted to do military training since I was a little kid, but it just wasn’t good timing," Muguruza said.
"And so we kind of put it all together with their help, because it wasn’t easy to organize. It was an incredible week. We went to Mallorca to train there, and just sharing, more than actually the activities we did, which were already incredible, just sharing with them this kind of job that they do that actually nobody knows it, or they don’t get an award or a trophy."
The 27-year-old Spaniard is now eager to have a good start to the season—at this point in her career, she's more motivated to take full advantage of her opportunities, noting, "I'm starting to feel like I’ve been around for quite some years already and just my mentality is switching to taking every tournament in a different approach, going to every Grand Slam thinking, ‘Okay, I’m happy to be here."
Muguruza is off to a strong start in Abu Dhabi, defeating both Kristina Mladenovic and Aliaksandra Sasnovich earlier in straight sets, setting up a first-time meeting with Maria Sakkari on Sunday.